Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Advisories and Urgent Information > Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road

Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 18 Oct 2010
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 58
Western Pakistan: escorts; restrictions; road conditions

Hi,

Arriving in PK at 2:30-ish I was told I would be staying at the border (Taftan) that night. There would be no escort that day. The PTDC Motel was shut (not clear if it was a permanent thing) so I was put up in some disused offices. They did cook me dinner which was nice.

Day 1: Taftan-Dalbandin: the first escort ran out of diesel after 20km and sent me on unescorted. The second had no vehicle and comandeered the doctor' car. The next three had no vehicles and after initially resisting I accepted that the only way I'd be moving forward was to have an armed pillion (increasingly grey and frail men). At 2-ish in Dalbandin I was told I'd be going no further that day. The Al Dawood hotel (the only hotel?) is fine. The people are nice.

Day 2: Dalbandin-Quetta: the road becomes quite poor although it is mostly metalled. I had one armed pillion for about 115km where I was sent on alone on quite a good surface to Nushki where I required an escort up the twisty bits of the mountain road (10km) and was let loose again for 100km until just after the Lak Pass when escorts had to be found to take me into Quetta. 8.5hrs for 330km.

At Quetta I was told that: foreigners cannot take the Dera Ismail Khan road (it goes through the NWFP). There was an undated police edict saying explicitly that foreigners could not travel the Dera Ghazi Khan road and must travel the Sukkur road. At the time of writing the Sukkur road was impassible for low vehicles at Temple Dera as it's under 4ft of water (too much for the XT). I was told I could apply for special permission to travel the DGK road from the home office on Monday (this was Friday evening). I chose the "dangerous" road south to Karachi -- more for something to do to be honest.

Day 3: Quetta-Khuzdar: the first 40-odd km of the N25 from the Lak Pass are dusty hard-core varying from four to one-lane wide. It is busy (with NATO supply lines too!) and slow and I was head to toe in dust in half an hour. In the end I had 16 escorts as far as Kalat and then I was free to go the remainder to Khuzdar. I arrived at 4-ish and checked into the grotty PTDC. The people were nice, mind!

Note that yesterday a NATO tanker was torched at Mangchur (just north of Kalat) so the view on the danger of this road may have changed).

Khuzdar-Karachi: at the south of Khuzdar I was stopped and told I needed an escort on this dangerous road. I was put on the phone to some bloke who said he was worried about me riding my bike alone to which I said I'd been doing alright so far. A minute later I was told I could go on ahead unescorted. A couple of escorts were thrown in along the road but mostly unescorted until north of Hub where I had about three to south of Hub and was let loose again. The road through Hub is poor and if, like me, you miss the unmarked expressway at the half-built roundabout (it's the second exit that looks like it heads into the city) you get to ride a parallel but terrible road all the way into the city.

As it happens there's been 40 people killed in Karachi in the last 48hrs including one in Lea market which I rode through (none the wiser, obviously) with no signs of violence or police. YMMV.

Several of the escorts force you to ride behind at 40kph. Motorcycle escorts are limited to 60kph. Several of the escorts started dropping behind at 75kph. Several of my potential escorts saw me coming towards them, screeched to a halt, turned round and despite the fact I generously slowed to 60kph never managed to catch up.

I'm not a security expert but much like Iran (see other posting) it's questionable if they're offering you any security (you're either not being escorted or you're becoming a slower more obvious target to any potshot-guy).

Cheers,

Ian
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 18 Oct 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by idf000 View Post
Hi,

I'm not a security expert but much like Iran (see other posting) it's questionable if they're offering you any security (you're either not being escorted or you're becoming a slower more obvious target to any potshot-guy).

Ian
Not to mention that they tend to draw even more attention to you and the fact that you're going slower and are in Balochistan for even longer would suggest and increased risk...

What was your experience with Iranian escorts, did they 'confiscate' your passport as the did with us?
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19 Oct 2010
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 5
Hi,

we are currently in Yazd, Iran. Our plan is to travel through Pakistan to India. But what we read in above post makes us think. We do not want to go to Karachi, because it is not safe beside the roads are bad and we are heavy loaded as we are two on the bike.
Anybody has any information when the Sukkur road will be passable again for motorbikes? Is anybody else in Pakistan right now having some information on situation and safety?
We don't want to get into trouble and if situation is not too good, we will think of some alternative way.

Thanks,
Zoran and Tamara
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19 Oct 2010
MikeS's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: KL, Malaysia
Posts: 1,151
Don't forget if you get fed up riding at the escorts pace, you can loose them as I did and although there were generally others waiting up ahead, quite often I didn't have an escort at all which although was good in terms of getting somewhere quicker, I was a little nervy in some areas, particularly in Derra Ismail Khan where no one wanted to give me a room as I was considered a security risk. Once the police got involved and I finally got a room (more expensive than I wanted) I was warned to only eat in my room and not to venture into the market for my safety. They were very serious about this.

If you have a look at my video, there's a bit where I'm picked up by the cops in Derra Ghazi Khan (@ 2.48) and given a very slow escort from there. BTW I was heading west to Iran. My escorts stopped at Kingri (N70) and had no more till I got into Iran but I think its pot luck how much escort you will get.

YouTube - Asian Staring
__________________
Mike


www.singapore-scotland.blogspot.com
www.argentina-alaska.blogspot.com
My little Vid: India/Pakistan

BMW R1150GS
Suzuki DR650 SE: Ride it like ya stole it. Oh, somebody just did...
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 21 Oct 2010
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboCharger View Post
are in Balochistan for even longer would suggest and increased risk...

What was your experience with Iranian escorts, did they 'confiscate' your passport as the did with us?
Hi,

The Balochis seemed quite friendly to me, despite reports that foreigners are potential targets.

Re: passports. West of Bam my passport was checked repeatedly but not confiscated. East of BAM it was confiscated and I had to periodically refuse to move again until I'd seen my passport if it had disappeared with a policeman into a building. They did understand my position.

In Pakistan my passport was checked repeatedly but never confiscated.


As MikeS notes you can trivially outrun the PK escorts if you are of a mind to. Their ancient trucks (or brand new ones they don't want to damage) are unable to cope at any speed with rough roads and can barely go uphill at all. I lost several of my escorts on hill sections because, despite slowing to a crawl (40-50kph), I would start to daydream and my speed would creep up. I'd look back and they'd have disappeared never to reappear. I would then pass the next one in the other direction which would come skidding to a halt and by the time it'd had turned around and I'd slowed to 60kph, say, it never caught up again.

On top of that I was regularly let loose to travel 10s or 100km without an escort. No obvious reason why the change from escorted to unescorted.

I had the impression that the job of escorting foreigners is as much a chore to them as it is to us.


Having been down to Karachi (yes, there is a lot of violence but it's not where the (decent?) hotels are -- though I did note I rode through both Lea Market and Malir where much of the violence has been but I didn't see anything) and now back up to Lahore most of the roads in Pakistan are poor though the northern end of the Quetta-Karachi road is the worst.

There have been more attacks on NATO fuel tankers in the meanwhile too in the Kalat area. I never saw anything resembling an attack on a NATO supply truck. YMMV.

I tried to stay in Sukkur last night but the hotels were full, I tried four. There was a UNHCR do at the one good hotel which may well have had knock-on effects and filled the rest of the system. I ended up riding three hours after sunset to get to Bahawalpur. Not a great experience. Maybe I should have asked to camp at the one hotel.

There's no flooding at Sukkur any more and I can't comment on the rest of the road to Quetta.

Cheers,

Ian
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 8 Nov 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Riding the world on Multiple bikes
Posts: 37
Looks good Ian. I'm had heard that Pakistan was pretty much a no go with all the flooding. I'm looking at riding through from Singapore soonish. Any advise you can give (I watch you video and see that you started singapore too) would be very helpful.
Enjoy your ride.
Blair
__________________
Enjoy your life
http://blairntv650.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Road conditions Pakistan lucpoppe Route Planning 2 8 Sep 2010 17:01
Road Conditions RogerM Australia / New Zealand 0 2 Jan 2009 05:02
Pakistan - India - Bangladesh - Any adverse weather conditions for this trip? CornishDeity Southern Asia 1 29 May 2008 05:12
Lao road conditions kruglov.com Southern Asia 9 4 Nov 2007 04:13
Road Conditions AussiePommy Route Planning 4 24 Jul 2006 17:56

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

  • South Africa: Nov 13-16
  • Thailand: Jan 9-11, 2015
  • NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12
  • NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16
  • Germany: May 14-17
  • Canada Ontario: Jun 18-21
  • Ireland: June 26-28
  • Colorado: July 17-19 TBC
  • Canada West: Aug 20-23
  • USA California: Sep 24-27
  • Aus Queensland: Sep 24-27
  • USA North Carolina: Oct 8-11
  • Aus Perth: Oct 9-11
  • Germany: Oct 22-25

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Circle to Circle by Brian and Shirley Rix.

Circle to Circle - a journey through the Americas and beyond. by Shirley Hardy-Rix and Brian Rix

"Well written, funny and informative."
"Thoroughly entertaining!"
Available NOW from the authors' website!

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 17:48.